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Being a father of five girls definitely does not qualify me as an expert in parenting!

And respond to other people’s posts as you want to be treated

I wrote on post on Medium a while back that has had more of a response than any other I’ve written.

When I talk about response, I’m not talking page views or claps, I’m talking about people adding response comments to the post.

Many of the responses are positive, acknowledging my post and what I hoped to achieve with it.

There are comments appreciating my bravery in telling my story, or identifying the challenges I must have faced.

However, many of the responses are awful, judgemental, personal attacks, from people who ‘know best’.

It’s impossible to get the full picture…


Do you have to be Tom Hardy rather than Tom Hanks?

I wrote a post the other week about how Woody Allen and I had some things in common.

It was a post that focused on the fact that we both had ex-partners who did all in their power to make our relationships with our children hell.

Someone didn’t want to focus on that message, and responded to tell me to get a better role model.

Now, I certainly don’t model myself on Woody Allen, I couldn’t cope with the neurosis.

In fact I don’t really model myself on anyone, but when it comes to movie actors I have to say…


But thankfully not too much

I’ll clarify the title of the post very early on in order to avoid any awkwardness.

  • I have NOT married someone who is 35 years younger than me
  • My wife is NOT the adopted daughter of a former lover
  • I have NOT been accused of sexual abuse
  • I have NOT won any Oscars for directing or screenwriting (or anything else come to mention it)
  • I do NOT play the clarinet (although it was the instrument that my school selected for me when I was about 8 but I was too busy playing sports to ever learn)

There are probably some…


Does an A-Z of films give an insight into our compatibility?

Earlier in 2020, in the middle of the monotony of lockdown, my wife and I decided to liven up our ‘date’ nights and we started down the A-Z of movies.

The simple rule was that the first movie starts with A, the next with B, then C etc…

We also have the added condition that it must be free to watch, which means on our existing TV or streaming packages, without additional payment.

The idea was to avoid all those annoying arguments about what to watch, by putting some boundaries on it.

Conveniently, we were half way through the year…


How does my life compare to others my age?

I’m 47.

When I was born in the UK in 1973, my life expectancy was a little over 69 years if things continued as they were.

Thankfully, medical care has improved slightly since then, so those clever healthcare people have added a few more years to my life, and now I can expect to live to the ripe old age of 84.

That means I’m currently about 56% of the way through my life!

56%!!!

As I slowly edge up my percentage completion rate, and head towards a half century of years, I had a thought:

what have I actually…


Should we really be asking this to strangers?

I recently signed up the Netmums forums because … well … I thought it would be fertile ground for some ideas for things to write about.

I have to have say, it never ceases to amaze me about the things people post on there, mainly for two reasons.

Firstly, I’m really surprised that people are willing to be so open about the questions they are asking.

“Severe, severe headline and egg infestation”

“Soiled underwear. Should I put up with this?”

“What age is appropriate for father and daughter physical contact?”

Do we really want to share these topics with complete…


We shouldn’t rely on 80s songwriters for geography, science or love life advice

I was happily making a roast dinner the other day and Alexa was blasting out 80s tunes in order to keep me entertained, when for some reason my ear picked out a lyric from Jermaine Stewart’s “We don’t have to take our clothes off”.

What sort of a woman would fall for this:

We could dance and party all night — all night, we could dance all night
And drink some cherry wine
Uh huh
We don’t have to take our clothes off

He’s offering her a good time by telling her that he doesn’t want to get naked and…


David Walsh

I have to admit that I love it when someone backs up their opinion with science and data. Don’t just tell me what you think, show me that what you think is true.

David Walsh in Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids looks at the science behind memory, language, emotions, nutrition, and play, and looks to find practical advice that we mere mortals of parents can use to help our kids develop “better.

Sometimes his findings show that our parents did know what they were talking, whilst others will have you immediately stopping what you do and taking another course.

His practical…


Is it OK to watch Allen, Spacey, or Stone?

My in-laws live with us, in a lower ground floor flat, and they have a dog named Whisky.

He’s really my father-in-laws dog and he’s the one who takes him out for a walk, as it helps keep him fit and gives him some focus for his day.

Recently, my father-in-law turned 80 and his joints are starting to play up, so I now take the dog out for a walk every evening. It’s half an hour of peace, as the dog isn’t very talkative, so I’ve started listening to audiobooks as a treat.

My latest is Woody Allen’s autobiography…


How being in a relationship can ruin the gift surprise

The tradition of giving presents at this time of year harks back to a number of historical events.

The Romans had a tradition of giving gifts during Saturnalia, which was a festival that began on the 17th of December and lasted until the 23rd, and of course, giving gifts at Christmas harks back to the story of the nativity, where the three kings brought the new baby gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Ignoring the fact that most people do not have a clue what either frankincense or myrrh is, I really don’t think the three kings phoned ahead (or…

Father of Five

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